Virgin Media wins ELEVENTH patent case against Rovi

£850,000 costs bill doesn't stop patent firm, though

After eleven claims and seven years, Virgin has won an eleventh patent dispute with Rovi over the design of its user interface after Rovi withdrew the claim of patent infringement.

The specific claim was for Electronic Programme Guide software using information downloaded from the internet. The patent is now marked as having been ”annulled by a decision of a national authority”.

Of the eleven claims Rovi has made, three have been withdrawn and the others found invalid by either the English Court or by the European Patent Office (EPO) which granted them. While the fat lady is warming up it’s not over yet, as Rovi has appealed on two patents with a Court of Appeal hearing expected by the end of the year.

Brigitte Trafford, chief corporate affairs officer at Virgin Media, said: “This victory is an important landmark. It is Rovi’s eleventh defeat out of eleven, and upholds our position regarding Rovi over the last seven years. Virgin Media will challenge the two appeals Rovi seems to be pursuing. We are confident their claims will remain unfounded in the courts.”

“With this last withdrawal Rovi has been ordered to reimburse 91 per cent of Virgin Media’s legal costs. According to court documents seen by The Register, Rovi had to pay the first £850,000 of this last month.”

The mounting losses from legal actions against both Virgin and the Dutch company Ziggo had already seen Rovi chaiman Andrew Ludwick deposed by angry shareholders, with VC Engaged Capital taking seats on the Rovi board. ®

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